Nikolaos Karvounakis: Man who planted note ‘bomb’ in Edinburgh pleads guilty

A man who created and planted an improvised bomb in Edinburgh in 2018 was convicted today.

Police Scotland have welcomed the conviction of Nikolaos Karvounakis – after he left an improvised explosive device (IED) in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh in 2018.

On January 11, 2018, the 35-year-old ex-Greek soldier left the device in the public park which was described as “potentially explosive”.

Mr Karvounakis claimed to be a member of the International Terrorist Mafia – a Mexican eco-terrorist group – as he pleaded guilty in Edinburgh High Court.

The device he had created would have contained around 58 nails that had been cut in half, and also had a note that read “f**k you all” written on it.

About a month after the discovery of the device, Karvounakis contacted a journalist who sent him a photo of it and described himself as a “lover of nihilistic anti-political violence”.

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Assistant attorney Angela Gray told the court: “The device was then created to contain the components of a potentially viable device.

“If it had exploded, it could have caused significant injury to people and damage to nearby property due to the metal pipe or metal nails in it flying out from the explosion.”

Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Houston said: “Karvounakis showed blatant disregard for members of the public by placing the IED indiscriminately in Princes Street Gardens. Fortunately it did not go off, but his intention was clear and there was certainly the potential to cause serious injury, even death, to innocent bystanders.

“I salute his guilty plea and sentencing, which is testament to the perseverance of our diligent investigative team over the past four years.

“Since the discovery of the package, officers from the Police Scotland Counter Terrorism Unit have carried out extensive inquiries, including with European partners and law enforcement. They were absolutely engaged in the difficult investigation to identify who was responsible.

“The successful conclusion of this investigation today was based on close cooperation and collaboration with the Counter Terrorism Network across the UK and overseas.”

After pleading guilty to the offence, the defense attorney said “significant jail time” was unavoidable under the Terrorism Act.

Nikolaos Karvounakis will be sentenced next month.

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